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Pen Tool | Subtract not Subtracting Entirely | Border Remains | Swatches = None

Contributor ,
Jun 12, 2023 Jun 12, 2023

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I incorporated an illustration from my artist into an InDesign document. Unfortunately, this particular illustration contains a smudge. I know this could be easily erased with Photoshop or Illustrator, but I don't have access to these tools and my artist is not available right now to remove the smudge. Therefore, I elected to remove the smudge myself using InDesign's Pen Tool.

 

I selected the Pen Tool and simultaneously elected Swatches > None to ensure no fill color would be created while I was selecting the smudge-removal border. I closed the border via Object > Paths > Close Path successfully. I then backed out, used the Selection Tool to highlight the entire/overall illustration, and then chose Object > Pathfinder > Subtract, which worked as planned. The smudge is gone. Unfortunately, the border of the closed "subtraction path" remains. I tried looking through the Swatches and Stroke menus to remedy this problem to no avail. How do I get rid of the subtraction path border? See the attachment.   

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Community Expert ,
Jun 12, 2023 Jun 12, 2023

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The reason that the cutting shape has the same border to it as the outside rectangle is that in using the pathfinder subtract option you have created what is known as a compound path. A compound path allows for "putting the hole within the donut" so to speak since the area created inside the rectangle—which appears to be white in your example—is actually transparent. If you put a color beneath the drawing you will be able to see that color through the hole in your rectangle. Unfortunately for you the hole in the middle will retain the same stroke as the outside of the rectangle. A workaround that I could suggest is to remove the stroke from the outer rectangle. This will also remove that stroke from the hole in the middle. Then draw a new rectangle to exactly the size of the outside rectangle, place it exactly over the original and then apply the stroke but no fill to that outline. The stroke will then appear to be only on the outside.

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Contributor ,
Jun 12, 2023 Jun 12, 2023

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Bill: Thank you. Your suggestion worked!

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Contributor ,
Jul 08, 2023 Jul 08, 2023

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Bill: As I stated, your suggestion worked in InDesign. However, when I create an EPUB file, I receive this error messsage from InDesign:

   "Custom Layout settings in Object Export Options have not been honored for group children, button states and inline objects."

 

I'm able to upload my manuscript file to KDP successfully, but what I end up with in KDP's EPUB Previewer is a rectangle and the associated illustration separated from each other on the same page. I then tried Object > Group and then Object > Group > Lock. They had an effect but now I end up with simply a horizontal line on the bottom of one page, and the illustration without a border on the next page. Any ideas?

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Contributor ,
Jul 08, 2023 Jul 08, 2023

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Bill: Disregard. I figured it out. Here is the two-step remedy:

  1. [Select all objects; i.e., the illustration and the surrounding rectangle serving as the workaround border] Object > Group > Lock
  2. [Select the now-single-grouped object] Object Export Options... > EPUB and HTMLPreserve Appearance From Layout > Rasterize Container

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Community Expert ,
Jul 08, 2023 Jul 08, 2023

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That's a fairly powerful option, but overall this is a good object lesson (yes, there's a pun there) about how the many, many things that work for print — and often PDF as well — even if they're sloppy hacks, don't work well or at all in EPUB export. Sometimes there's an inherent process fix, as here, but many times the structural or layout hack just can't be used if a successful export is needed.


┋┊ InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): A Professional Guide, v3.0 ┊ (Amazon) ┊┋

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Contributor ,
Jul 08, 2023 Jul 08, 2023

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James:  Agree. The EPUB process has so many nuances and tricks to be aware of. There's seems to be nothing straightforward about it.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 08, 2023 Jul 08, 2023

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Actually, EPUB is very straightforward if you have any web development experience, or have a good grasp of the document structural needs. It's when you come in from the perspective that anything you stick on a page, using any method, will print just that way that EPUB bites back.

 

Even then, very few pros build print books that will do a flawless, or even un-broken export. And most made-for-print projects are a real mess structurally, since it doesn't matter how that side head or illustration or vertical rule gets there.

 

But once you learn the limits, it's not hard to build books/long docs that bypass the critical flaws and are ready for at least a rough first export; a little more, and managing dual-format projects that export perfectly to PDF and EPUB, even during changes and editing, becomes second nature.

 

And unfortunately, while FXL seems like it would bypass all that finicky structural stuff and just allow "printing" to EPUB... it doesn't. If anything, it's more demanding and less amenable to fixes. (Look at the code some time... every word and sometimes every character has a full HTML positioning and defintion wrapper. Aiiiiieeeeeee!)


┋┊ InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): A Professional Guide, v3.0 ┊ (Amazon) ┊┋

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Contributor ,
Jul 09, 2023 Jul 09, 2023

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James:  Good insight. Thank you.

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